Southern New England Dogfish Gillnet Exemption Area
Exempted fisheries allow vessels to fish for specific species without being subject to certain northeast (NE) multispecies regulations, including days-at-sea (DAS), provided the bycatch of regulated species is minimal. This is a seasonal exemption area for vessels in the spiny dogfish fishery using gillnet gear in Southern New England (SNE).
In this specified gillnet portion of the SNE EA, a vessel using gillnet gear can seasonally fish for, possess, and land spiny dogfish without using a DAS or being on a NE multispecies non-DAS sector trip.
This exemption area is defined by a line running from the Massachusetts shoreline at 41°35’ N. lat. and 70°00’ W. long., south to its intersection with the outer boundary of the EEZ, southwesterly along the outer boundary of the EEZ, and bounded on the west by the western boundary of the SNE EA.
May 1 through October 31.
All gillnets must have a minimum mesh size of 6-inch diamond mesh throughout the net.
Gillnet vessels fishing under this exemption are not operating under a NE multispecies DAS or sector trip, therefore, while fishing under this exemption, vessels may not possess any regulated NE multispecies (groundfish). Vessels fishing under this exemption may only fish for, possess on board, or land spiny dogfish and the following exempted species:
- Atlantic Herring;
- Atlantic Mackerel;
- Ocean pout;
- Summer flounder;
- Silver hake;
- Offshore hake; and
Incidental species allowed for retention when fishing for the exempted species above include: Conger eels; sea robins; black sea bass; red hake; tautog (blackfish); blowfish; cunner; John Dory; mullet; bluefish; tilefish; longhorn sculpin; fourspot flounder; alewife; hickory shad; American shad; blueback herring; sea raven; Atlantic croaker; spot; swordfish; monkfish and monkfish parts – up to 10%, by weight, of all other species on board or up to 50 lb tail weight (146 lb whole weight) of monkfish per trip, whichever is less; American lobster – up to 10%, by weight, of all other species on board or 200 lobsters, whichever is less; and skate and skate parts – up to 10%, by weight, of all other species on board.